From Holy Door to Holy Door!
Last Saturday, 15 Downside pilgrims, led by Fr. James Hood, walked through the Holy Door at the Abbey, prayed at the Shrine St. Oliver Plunket, and from there set off on their 17 mile journey to the Holy Door at the Shrine to Our Lady, in Glastonbury. Throughout the walk, they contemplated the Mysteries of Light of the Holy Rosary. They stopped on their journey at the beautiful Parish Church of St. James in Ashwick, and also that dedicated to St. Michael and All Angels, at Dinder, where they also had an eagerly awaited lunch in the churchyard!
At this point, Mia, Tim, and Rina, decided that 8 miles was quite enough! A couple of miles later, Tony also had to give up due to a knee injury.
The walk also took in the the Ancient Scheduled Monument at Maesbury Camp, also known as Maesbury Castle, which is an Iron Age Fort. The views from here were spectacular, allowing the group to just about see the tower of the Abbey in one direction, and, their destination, Glastonbury, in the other.
Before arriving at the Shrine to Our Lady, the walk took in the famous Glastonbury Tor, scene in 1539 of the martydom of Blessed Richard Whiting, the last Abbot of Glastonbury, and two of his monks, John Thorne and Roger James. Ophelia was first up, followed by Anne, and all of the others – Seb, Martin, Tirian, Nicholas, Mercedes, Glaxy, Rosals, Alice, and, of course, Fr. James! (not in that order!) Some commented that having such a steep ascent at the end of the walk, was quite a challenge.
The group were then made very welcome by the Parishioners of the Shrine, and the back up team, Julie Justin, and Lee Rogers, provided them with a very welcome cup of tea! In fact, without the back up team, the walk would not have been possible, so special thanks are due to Julie and Lee, and also to Fr. James for his exceptional navigation of the route, avoiding much of the mud, and bulls!